Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mandy's Goat Cheese Rosemary Dip

  • Spread or crumble  goat cheese (12 oz or so) on the bottom of a serving dish
  • Top with drained chopped sun dried tomatoes, 1/2 cup or cup of pitted, chopped or not, kalamata olives
  • Sprinkle on top: 
  • two cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, (I try to crumble it a bit or finely chop it so that it's not so tough)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • drizzle a cup, yes a cup, of olive oil over the whole thing and refrigerate over night or for a few hours. 

    I have tried avoiding the oil completely, it doesn't work. The oil melds the flavors.  I generally drizzle until I can't stand it any more, about 1/2 a cup.  Also, sometimes I make it an hour or so before I serve it and I just keep it at room temp, the longer it sits the deeper the flavors become. 

5 Minute Blueberry Pie

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1 (9 inch) graham cracker crust
  • Whipped cream

In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add blueberries. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into crust. Chill. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

This delicious, healthy recipe is compliments of my cousin Laura Swoyer

3 tbs ground flaxseed
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar  (I usually use 3/4 c. molasses and then 1/4 c.
sugar - usually sucanat or something other than white sugar)  I think if you used all sugar you could cut it way back maybe to 2/3 or 3/4 c.
Also note that if you use molasses you have to add more baking soda.  I usually add almost an extra 1/2tsp.)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil (I usually cut it back to 1/3c or a little less)
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp each cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and ground ginger (I usually add a little
more than a tsp. I like my bread spicy.  I also add a tsp of ground cloves.)
1 tsp baking soda  (1 1/2tsp if using molasses)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
sprinkles of oats and sugar for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the flaxseed and water until thickened. (Don't skip this step.  You have to let the flax soak up the water, otherwise the recipe is not the same. This is the egg substitution.) Combine flax mixture in a large bowl with sugar, applesauce, oil, and pumpkin.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder,

and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet.  Fold in the walnuts.  Lightly grease loaf pans.  Divide into two regular 8 inch loaf pans or four mini loaf pans.  If you'd like, sprinkle on some oats or turbinado to garnish.  Bake the large loaves for about 55 minutes and the smaller loaves for about 40 minutes.  Let sit for 20 minutes before removing from pan.    

Cake in a Coffee Mug, no really! Got 5 minutes? Make this!

This recipe is dangerous because once you have tried it you know you can have dessert in 5 minutes anytime you want. You might want to try the original version first. If you soak ground flaxseed in water for a few minutes it is an egg substitute. I like that much better than a whole egg in this but you be the judge.

Cake in a coffee mug (healthier version with my changes):

1 tbsp ground flax seed
¼ cup quick oats
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 ½ Tbsp sugar, raw sugar, maple syrup, etc.
chocolate chips, (nuts, dried cranberries, cinnamon, etc. as you wish)
¼ cup milk, Or part plain yogurt or soy milk
Couple drops of vanilla

Put dry ingredients in a coffee mug. Add liquid, stir and let sit for a couple minutes, add chocolate chips or other goodies, stir well and microwave 2 ½ minutes or slightly less depending on your microwave.  Let it cool a bit and enjoy. I sometimes pour a little milk over it while it is hot, but without it is like a little cake.

Original version (This is sinful and enough for two of you)

4 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 egg (ground flaxseed instead of egg is much better. I feel the egg makes it rubbery)
3 Tblsp milk
3 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp or more chocolate chips
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well. Add egg and mix well. Pour milk and oil mix well. Add chocolate chips and vanilla, mix.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but should not spill. Allow to cool before tipping out onto a plate.  Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or by itself.

Rich Hot Yeast Rolls

  ¾ cup milk
 ½ cup shortening (I use butter)
 ½ cup sugar
 1 tsp salt
 2 pkg (2Tblsp) active dry yeast
 ½ cup warm water (110-115degrees)
 4 ½ to 4 ¾ cup sifted flour
Scald milk, add shortening, sugar & salt. Cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast on water, stir just to dissolve (I add a pinch of sugar and or a tiny sprinkle of ground ginger to makes yeast work faster).  Add 1 ½ cup flour to milk mixture. Beat well. Beat in eggs and yeast. Gradually add flour to make soft dough that leaves sides of bowl. Turn out onto floured board. Knead until smooth, satiny & no longer sticky. 5 to 8 min.  Place in lightly greased bowl, invert to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place free from draft until double in bulk.

Punch down, turn onto board. Divide and shape as desired. I cut into four sections then cut each of those into 8 and bake in a 9x13 greased pan. Brush tops with melted butter let rise until double, 30-45 min. Bake at 375 until done. 20 min give or take.

You know that I often use part whole wheat flour and/or add a couple tblsp ground flax seed, wheat germ etc.
Cut the dough in half and roll each half into a 8x16” rectangle. Combine 1 cup sugar, ½ cup melted butter and 1 tsp cinnamon (I never use that much butter and sugar but it would probably better and messier if you do.)  You can sprinkle with raisins  or nuts. Roll up from the long edge and seal edge. Cut in 1” slices. Place cut side down in 2 well greased 9x9x2 pans or one big one. Cover and let rise as before. You can drizzle confectioners sugar frosting over them if you wish.

BUTTERSCOTCH ROLLS: do like above only brush with ¼ cup melted butter and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of brown sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon. Melt ¼ cup butter, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 Tblsp lt corn syrup and heat until syrupy. Sprinkle in chopped nuts. Pour into greased pan put sliced rolls on top.

Tex Mex Dip

1st (or bottom) layer: 2 cans bean dip (I use 1 can refried beans)
2nd layer:  2-3 Avocados, mashed
                    1 tsp lemon juice
3rd layer:  1 c mayonnaise
               1 c sour cream
               1 pkg taco seasoning mix
On top: 6 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
                6 oz cheddar cheese, grated
                shredded lettuce
                tomato tidbits
                onion pieces
                black olives, sliced 

Spread layers in order given, on a large platter, arrange top layer attractively.  Serve with crackers and chips.  Serves 8+

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour milk or sour cream
2 1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups raw, chopped zucchini

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 min - 1 hour until done.

Popcorn Balls (as written many years ago by Shirly Cross)

2 cups molasses
2 cups sugar
2 tblsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp salt

Boil all ingredients in a large pot until brittle when a few drops are placed in a glass of water.  Add a piece of butter the size of an egg (1/4 cup), vanilla and salt.  Pour over popped corn and form into balls. 

Sidenote: I had to laugh at the terminology of add butter the size of an egg, especially because I just purchased the King Arthur Flour cookbook which went into detail on how to decipher this exact phrase and its past use in cooking.  Loved it so I left it!


2 cups hot water
4 cups light brown sugar
2 oz. instant coffee (3/4 cup brewed)
1 fifth vodka or brandy
1 vanilla bean

Heat water.  Dissolve coffee, then add sugar and dissolve.  Remove from heat, cool.  Pour in 1/2 gal container.  Add vanilla bean and vodka.  Let stand for 30 days.  Shake occasionally.

Makes great holiday gifts, divide into beautiful glass containers and share.

Surprise Cupcakes (as per Shirley Cross, my granny)

8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened)
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz package chocolate chip

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup salad oil
2 cups water
2 tblsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

Combine filling ingredients; cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and salt.  Beat until smooth and add chips.  Set aside.

Sift together all dry batter ingredients.  Add all liquids to sifted ingredients and mix until smooth.

Fill cupcake pans two-thirds full, top with a heaping teaspoon of filling.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Makes 2 1/2 doz.  These freeze really well.

Variations: butterscotch chips, mint chips, nuts, etc can all be used in place of chocolate chips.

Sour Cream Corn Bread

3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup unsifted all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tblsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tblsp melted shortening

Mix all ingredients just enough to blend. (Do NOT overmix or muffins could be tough - the less you mix the better ;0).  If it seems dry, add a tad bit more milk.

Pour into greased 8" square pan (or cast iron skillet which is what I would do) and bake at 425 for approx. 18-20 minutes.

Serve warm.  A delicious compliment to Guiness Stout Chili!

Soft Italian Bread Twists

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt, divided
1 pkg (1/4 oz) quick rise yeast
2 - 2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup warm water
1 tblsp vegetable oil
3 tblsp melted butter
1/2 garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
Italian Seasoning, optional
Parmesan Cheese, optional

IN food processor combine, 2/4 tblsp salt, yeast & 2 cups of flour.  Process for 5- 10 seconds.  Gradually add warm water and oil in steady stream.  Process 1 minute or until smooth.  Add 1-2 tblsp of water or flour, if needed.

Turn onto floured surface.  Roll into a 12" x 15" rectangle.  Cut into 12 strips.  FOld each in half lengthwise, twist.  Pinch edges to seal.  Place 2" apart on greased backing sheet.

In a bowl, combine butter, garlic powder, paprika and remaining salt.  Brush on dough.  Sprinkle with seasoning and/or cheese if desired.  Cover 25 minutes to rise.

Bake at 425 for 6-8 minutes until golden.

Oatmeal Batter Bread

1 cup oats
2 cup milk (scalded)
1 pkg yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp salt
1 tblsp melted butter
4 1/2 flour 

Place oats in a bowl with milk let stand.  Dissolve yeast in water.  Add molasses, salt, butter and mix well.  Add half the flour, beat well.  Add remaining flour, mix.  Cover, let rise til double.  Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 then bake for additional 35 minutes til done.

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup soft butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (canned)
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup melted butter

Mix well with mixer.  Pour into greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with topping.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 35 minutes.

Chocolate Orange Wreath

Use 1/2 Basic Rich Cream Yeast Dough per wreath


2 pkg active dry yeast (or 5 tsp)
1/2 cup warm water

1/2 lb butter, room temp
6 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

12 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp Grand Marnier or grated rind of orange
1 1/2 cup coarsely grated semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup orange juice
Coarse raw sugar
Sliced Almonds
Orange Zest
Chocolate Curls 

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Slice butter into flour and blend until resembles coarse crumbs.  In another bowl, combine yeast with remaining ingredients, mix well.  Add slowly to flour and butter mixture.  Beat until thoroughly mixed.  Place dough in plastic bag, allowing room for expansion.  Store dough in refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

To make wreath, prepare dough first, then make filling.  Combine cheese, sugar and Grand Marnier or orange peel.  Roll dough into large rectangle.  Spread cheese mixture on top of dough, top with grated chocolate.  Starting at the long edge of rectangle, roll dough.  Form into circle on a parchment lined pan.  Slice part way through every couple inches and tip slices slightly to create wreath shape.  Brush with orange juice, top with coarse sugar, almonds and orange zest. 

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until brown.  When cool, place chocolate curls on top.

Yield: 20 servings

 TIP: place a small round bowl or custard dish in the center of ring to keep the opening nice and round while you bake, then you can place a candle in the middle and have an edible centerpiece on the table!